On 30 March 2022, the agreement for English as a Subject for Teachers and Educators (EaSTE) was signed; it is a collaboration between the British Council and Quaid-e-Azam Academy for Educational Development (QAED) Punjab, which will run for two and a half years. The EaSTE project follows on from the Punjab Education and English Language Initiative (PEELI), a three-year, large-scale partnership between the British Council and QAED which ended in June 2020, having reached 200,000 primary teachers.
The aims of EaSTE are:
- To improve the ability of primary teachers to teach the English language
- To embed teachers’ professional development within the already existing professional development system QAED has developed
- To monitor the success of the project in the classroom from the start to ensure that positive change is taking place regarding teaching and learning and include the students in the process
- To engage as many teachers as possible through the digital platform, reducing expenses and the need to take teachers out of class while they train
Primary teachers follow five self-access online courses available on a specially created Learning Management System (LMS). They do the courses at regular intervals on the platform which is monitored by Assistant Education Officers (AEOs), who are mentors to the primary school teachers.
Each course takes six-weeks to complete, and the five courses are spread over a period of two years.
The courses are in line with specific competencies built into the curriculum and course books teachers are using, ensuring that the course content is of practical use to them.
While they are following the online course, teachers deliver lessons using input from the online component, doing activities suggested on the platform with their students. AEOs visit each school twice a month to observe, mentor and evaluate the progress of the English language teachers as they deliver lessons to their students. Each AEO also leads an online Community of Practice through webinars and forums where teachers can get extra support and connect with their peers.
The activities extend over two years allowing time to measure positive change in the teachers’ capacity and learners’ response.